Govt opposes UNSG intent
By Chaminda PERERA
Mar 24, 2010
Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe in an exclusive interview with the Daily News, yesterday said the Government strongly opposes the intent of UN Secretary General to appoint an expert panel to advise him on Sri Lanka.

The Minister said the UNSG has expressed his intent at a time when the country is facing an election. “It is unethical to make such a sensitive statement during an election time as some unscrupulous elements in the opposition are in the game of taking undue advantage,” he added.

“I had a discussion with UN representative in Sri Lanka Neil Buhne who returned to the country after a series of discussions with his superiors in New York. Buhne told me that the UNSG’s intent was to inquire into the accountability issues only,” he said.

He said the Government has not sought an inquiry into the accountability issues from the UN Secretary General through the joint statement issued by the UNSG and the President of Sri Lanka last year.

The Minister said the country should not get entangled in any controversies with the UN or any country over what the UNSG is going to do. “Sri Lanka should not be bothered as we have never violated human rights nor international conventions or treaties,” he added.

The Minister said the UNSG has expressed his satisfaction over Sri Lanka’s achievement in the field of resettlement. Our valiant soldiers were in conformity with all domestic and international law during their effort to eradicate terrorism in the country.

He added that a panel of eminent persons appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa is investigating the allegations outlined in the US report. This report was issued by the State Department after Sri Lanka ended the 35 year protracted conflict. “The mandate of this committee has been extended to April 5,” he said.

The Minister stressed that nobody was able to prove factually that Sri Lanka violated human rights or the international law with evidence. “Sri Lanka succeeded in negating the attempts by several countries to level charges of human rights violations against the country,” he added.

Courtesy: Daily News